The land of spices as we call it, is renowned for its plethora of cuisines. Cooking is considered an art in the households of our country and family recipes are passed down the generations with wisdom.

You will be enthralled by all the variety that is available to you. In fact people from one state might just be totally alien to another state’s cuisine. Our customs too are as varied as our food. From a basic folding of our hands (namaskara) to greet our elders to taking off one's shoes before entering someone's house, we follow a multitude of traditions that are passed down the generations. These customs are backed either by scientific logic or simply entrenched in superstitious beliefs. 

So browse through this list of quirky customs from our land and let us know how many do you actually follow.

1. Thali style of eating

mole sauce, bread, sweet
Vishesh Monga

The dining table has so many sumptuous items. It is unfair to have to pick a few just because there isn't space left on your plate. Well Indian thali to the rescue! It provides you with little compartments to put your food in so that you get a taste of everything without spilling! 

2. Eating with hands

Yes we do own our set of silverware but the real taste of Indian food only comes when you eat with bare hands. In fact the most relished Indian food items like golgappas cannot be consumed by cutlery. According to Hindu texts, eating with hands feeds not only the body but also the mind and the spirit. It improves digestion and the individual becomes more aware of the taste,texture and smell of the food.

3. Food offered to God (prasadam)

apple, sweet
Shubhang Sharma

In the Hindu culture, vegetarian home cooked meal is first offered to the idol of the deity as a mark of respect and devotion and then consumed by the people. This food should not be tasted during prep work or before offering.  It is considered as a sacrifice that one is willing to make and thus eating is seen as a selfless act. It is believed that food eaten in this manner is free from bad omen and has become a spiritual blessing.

4. A spoonful of curd and sugar before any new venture

If you have an important exam or a job interview you really want to nail, be sure to take a spoonful of curd and sugar right before stepping out of your home. Why? Well for starters, it is considered auspicious and curd acts as a coolant that keeps your insides cool while sugar provides you instant energy. 

5. The art of slurping

coffee, tea
Mehak Dhawan

This is more of a habit that over a long period of time became a widely followed custom due to science. Why wait for your tea to cool off? Pour it onto the saucer and slurp your way through. Although making the noise is considered uncivilized. Indians popularized this technique of cooling off your tea and whoever visited India took back this method with them to their land. 

6. Eating with left hand is supposed to be a sin

salsa, chicken
Srishti Chauhan

In the rural parts of India and among a few urban classes as well, it is believed that lefties are ill-fated. No gifts or any precious item is passed using the left hand. The left hand is primarily used for cleaning oneself after defecation so some people still don't eat with their left hand. It is unconsidered impure. All the "low" work is done with the left hand such as washing one's feet and taking off shoes.